Ready for a close up? The video production students at Kennedy Secondary School (KSS) in Fergus Falls sure are. These creative students now get to operate a new, state of the art Canon EOS RP camera and a macro lens during their class.

Mindy Christianson, who teaches the video production class at KSS, knew that it was time for a technical update.

“I am always looking for ways to enhance our video production class so students get as much out of it as possible,” explained Christianson. “I want them to feel confident in their skills so they can take it to the next level if they so choose, whether that be taking more classes in college, getting a job related to video production or just continuing to create their own videos in the future. Technology is always changing, so we try to keep up with it by using new cameras, editing software, laptops and more. The camera I asked for is one our technology specialist uses for his own professional work, so I knew it would be a great fit for our students as well.”

The new technological updates were made possible by a grant from the 544 Education Foundation. Every year, the 544 Education Foundation awards grants to teachers in the Fergus Falls Public School District to support educational programing, supplies, books and more.

“Educators have so many great ideas, but the reality is that not all of them are in line with the district’s budget,” Christianson explained. “The Foundation covers that gap and helps us take our classes to the next level.”

Christianson shared that she was very excited and that her students were thrilled when they found out the class would be receiving a grant.

“When the students use the new camera, the quality is crystal clear; it is such a noticeable upgrade from our older cameras,” she said. “Our media specialist also bought a gimbal, which we use with the camera for incredibly steady footage. The camera and gimbal combined create videos on par with professionals. There is definitely a learning curve, but my students were up for the challenge. It’s so fun and rewarding to see them rise to the occasion and feel successful when they achieve their goals.”

Christianson said that the past two years of teaching have been challenging, but that being awarded a grant and watching her students use the new camera successfully has been a bright spot for her.

“I’m so appreciative of everyone who donates to the foundation to make these grants possible.”

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